“The Silent Service” is in production on Amazon Prime Video, which will mark the streaming platform’s first original movie in Japan.
Separately, Amazon has confirmed that it has acquired the rights to the Japanese national team’s games in the upcoming 2023 World Baseball Classic.
“The Silent Service” is a popular manga series written and illustrated by artist Kawaguchi Kaiji, published in Kodansha’s Weekly Morning Manga magazine from 1988 to 1996, and has sold a total of 32 million copies.
Set aboard Japan’s first nuclear submarine, the story depicts the unpredictable actions of its captain, Kaeda Shiro, as he tries to realize his ideal world. The story makes the audience think about true peace amidst the complexity of international relations.
The live-action film is directed by Kohei Yoshino (last year’s “Anime Supremacy”) and stars Osawa Takao (“The Kingdom”) as the captain. Osawa is also set to be a producer, presenter and bridge between production and the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Production Credius Inc. (“Kingdom,” “Gintama”) CEO Matsuhashi Shinzo as the film’s other producer. Powerhouse distributor Toho has lined up the full film for a September 29 theatrical release in Japan.
“We are deeply grateful to be entrusted with the live-action adaptation of one of Mr. Kawaguchi’s best-known works,” said Takayuki Hayakawa, Head of Japanese Originals at Prime Video.
“We will finally be able to make a live-action version of the legendary comic ‘The Silent Service’, which has been said to be impossible to make into a live-action film. [for] Over 30 years,” Osawa said. “I will play the lead role, Kaeda Shiro, who escapes with Japan’s first nuclear submarine and confronts the world with the threat of nuclear weapons.”
Prime Video will live stream all of the Japanese national team’s games at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, starting with the first round on March 9 and a few warm-up matches before the tournament. Prime Video’s commentary team will feature legendary names from the Japanese baseball world, including former Japan national team manager Inaba Atsunori, former national team players Satozaki Tomoya, Fukudome Kosuke and Hirokazu Ibata, and former national team coach Tsuji Hatsuhiko. Saito Kazumi (Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Inc.) will provide play-by-play commentary.
Rounding out the WBC programming roster are specially commissioned shows, including “Rocky Sasaki and Yoshinobu Yamamoto: To the WBC Final Site,” a travelogue involving Sasaki and Yamamoto, teammates of Samurai Japan in the United States.